tv Washington Journal CSPAN May 11, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
services committee. arizona republican congressman jeff blake would give his take on raising the debt ceiling and the proposed deficit reduction plans. later, the former treasury department official will discuss how al-qaeda and other terrorist organizations are financed and what the u.s. can do to curtail this funding. ♪ host: good morning and welcome to "washington journal" on this may 11, 2011. both the house and senate are in session this morning. the leader reid and mitch mcconnell will meet with mexican officials. this afternoon, obama will meet with the democratic caucus to talk about the budget.
a story on afghanistan called "time to leave" and ask whether it is time to pull out of that country. is it time to leave afghanistan? the numbers to call it -- democrats, (202) 737-0002 republicans (202) 737-0001, an independents (202) 628-0205. you can e-mail us and we are on twitter. let's take a look at this "usa today" ps. is it time for america's longest war to end? nearly six in 10 americans think so, according to a usa today/gallup poll taken over the weekend.
other newspapers asking similar questions this morning. from the "new york times," the killing of osama bin laden has set off a reassessment of the war in afghanistan. that's their right to that phones to hear what you think about this. roger in michigan, good morning. t think it is time for troops to leave afghanistan? caller: it is time for us to leave. when president bush took us time -- there, he said that we
needed to deal with the twin towers business and everyone agree with that. the idea was to get the person to it did that. and we did. this is not barack obama's or any longer. iraq was never his work. our economy is tied to this and president obama seems to be the only person that can somehow show us that that is the case. things are always related one to the other. host: do you see a difference between the war in afghanistan and the war in iraq? caller: absolutely. i agree with most people when president bush went after bin laden in afghanistan. we had no business in iraq. for my purposes, that was an illegal war. i think it has been proven time and again there were a lot of shenanigans that got us there in iraq. we had no business being there. there will never be obama's war.
they will be george bush's war. they will be a mistake. host: you see that is different. let's go on to melissa calling us from arizona on the independent line. good early morning to you, melissa. caller: good morning. their job is not done. there are 450 -- 100 of them are generals. we need to keep our troops there. host: what would be success to you in afghanistan. when would it be time to bring troops home? caller: after they get their military and their authority set to wage and in control -- authority situation in control.
it's obvious they do not right now. host: another article. let's take a listen to what senator kerry had to say yesterday. >> i do think that we ought to be working towards achieving the smallest footprint possible in afghanistan that is deemed necessary, of presence that leaves afghans in charge, pressing them to step up to that task. at the same time as it secures our interests and accomplishes our mission, which has not changed even with the death of osama bin laden, and that is
destroying al qaeda and preventing afghanistan from again becoming a terrorist sanctuary. host: senator kerry speaking yesterday, chairman of the foreign relations committee. jim is on our democratic line. is it time to leave afghanistan? caller: yes, it is. and the reason i feel that way is because it is a good opportunity, since osama bin laden has been killed. we have been there longer than vietnam. if we have any troops there at all, they should be going into pakistan and mainly we should just use special forces there. plot of all -- a whole lot more of the chair to have the right now. host: as gone to darrell, a
republican in detroit. caller: they have one more job to do, burn the poppy fields. host: which means get rid of the opium. caller: absolutely. it is destroying the world in a thousand different ways. host: let's go to kansas. our democratic line. caller: the war should have been over yesterday. we need to accomplish things for the american people. all like to say this one thing. we have a great president and everyone should start recognizing him for who he is. he is a great man. thank you. host: a common on twitter from fred.
"usa" asking this question, is a time to leave afghanistan? in the peace, it says -- kerrey joins us from. pleasant, new jersey on the independent line. welcome. caller: my point of view is from 1961, september, i was fallen to. in the draft. if we had a draft today, we would not be in afghanistan, we would not be in iraq, because citizen soldiers are a lot smarter than volunteer mercenaries, which we have today. in vietnam, i did not serve in
vietnam but from what i understand, the troops started to rebel. the troops were mostly draftees. they would not tolerate an illegal war, and afghanistan and iraq are both illegal wars. thank you. host: our next caller is filled from maryland. is it time to leave afghanistan? caller: i believe so. i think that what senator kerry said, our mission was to destroy al qaeda and it is in our interest of our national- security. hot think over 200,000 people, we of lost more soldiers than that. we win in around the same time and i think it is hurting yourself. we should be beefing up our
defense so that it cannot happen again here in the united states. host: a comment from twitter says -- taking a look at how the politics are playing out in this issue, "usa today" says the president is a risk it being odds with his democratic base if he continues the war. move the number one issue in washington is aimed at door negotiations the federal debt ceiling and has
become a part of the debate over afghanistan. let's hear from a republican, senator lugar, talking about our role there from yesterday. >> if the broad scope of our activity suggests that we are trying to remake the economic, political, and security culture of afghanistan. that ambitious goal is beyond our powers. although alliance help in afghanistan is significant and appreciated, the heaviest burden will continue to fall on the united states. these observations if accepted call into question whether our vast expenditures in afghanistan represent a rational allocation of our military and financial assets. this was true before osama bin laden was killed. is that encourages reflection of our policy in afghanistan and may create some perceptual opportunities in the region. but a reassessment of our afghanistan policy on the basis
with the overall view of being certain by spending $10 billion a month in that country was needed before our troops took out bin laden. host: richard lugar speaking yesterday, up a republican perspective there. let's look at a website which chronicles the deaths of troops over in afghanistan. this is all list of the coalition fatalities by year and by month. we can see this grid in 2011, the fatalities, in january 30 deaths, january 30, march 30. last month there were 51 fatalities of coalition forces in afghanistan, up from last year in the same month, 34. so far 167 coalition men have been killed in afghanistan this year. getting some perspective there, some of our callers have
olls.oned that death pollt caller: host: it is way past due as kantor -- as he said to get out of afghanistan and quite frankly in iraq. it is no secret that these wars have bankrupted our country and at the end of the day, we have gotten osama bin laden, we cut off the head of the snake, so to speak. and it is really time to allow the afghan people to stand up for themselves. and the whole context of the job not done yet, it is old to me. host: taking a look at the "washington post" yesterday, it is not the end of the war.
in michigan, tommy calls on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. i think the last date meant that you read is correct. and they can be made compatible to senator kerry's statement. we need to use this death of bin laden to honor the afghanistan effort. if we use this as an opportunity
to generate a smaller footprint, and engender a better feeling among the moderate muslims, we need them on our sides. we need to attack the extremists from the inside out, not just the outside. we also need to take a look at the upcoming likely september unilateral declaration of independence from a palestinian state. one of his reasons for 9/11, hijacking a legitimate cause for a terrorist opportunity, and both of these issues we may start to get some honor back into the conversation between us and moderate muslims and have a partner from within them islamic community to deal with the extremist. host: 8 comment on twitter --
taking a look of what is happening in afghanistan right now, general campbell mentioned that there has not been a decrease in conflict over there. this of " usa today" piece from the associated press talks about what is happening there. hundreds of insurgents on tuesday at attacked checkpoints in the northeast province with rocket-propelled grenades but they failed to overrun the government positions. let's hear from virginia where their bread joins us, a democratic column. a lot of democrats have said it is time to leave afghanistan.
what do you think? caller: good morning and thank you for c-span. i agree with that caller from delaware. however, from my perspective, i have lived and worked in the region. there are thousands doing all kinds of work with different companies, whatever. [unintelligible] unless the people living there have the will to do it themselves, to educate themselves, to build up their infrastructure, to get those forces and extremists out that are keeping that country in the
19th century, i just do not see [unintelligible] they are in the more moderately developed islamic countries, i do not seeing that happening. host: we just looked at an image from the "washington post," marines moving a wounded comrade in the us -- in the helmand province. let's go to massachusetts. johnny on our independent line calling and on the topic of whether we should leave afghanistan. caller: yes, we should leave afghanistan. but we will never leave. we will never leave iraq, we will be there like we are in japan, england, france, and we
will never leave because there are interests over there, oil and the poppies, they never destroyed the fields when they found them. no, we cannot do that, that is their livelihood, they said. the government never listen to the people. it don't mean nothing, the government will do away want to do, we will never leave. i thank you for listening to me. host: the "washington times" headline. on twitter -- one georgia, steve is on a republican live. welcome to the program. caller: i believe in going over
there. but i think we need to come back because the liberals and the country won't let us fight a real war where we kill people and break things. they want us to cut the war but they don't want us to hurt anybody. i have got a son and two nephews in there. they tell me it is ridiculous. they're being held back the way that they are. host: how are they being held back, steve? caller: they are not allowed to do a lot of things. people shoot at them and they are not allowed to shoot back in every case. it depends on where the fire is coming from. and as far as these liberals saying it is bush's war, he lied. if he lied, bill clinton the most the democrats were in on it, because they all agreed that
we should go into iraq. host: a democratic caller from michigan, welcome. what did think about afghanistan? caller: i think it is time for them to leave because they should have time to come home and spend more time with their families. and i think obama did a great job. if it were not for bush starting this, i think he would get credit for it, too. obama was trying to get him to go to new york for ground zero. i think he should have went. that is all i have to say. host: one of our folks on twitter mentioned teaching in the mission there. let's take a look at a store that is in the "wall street journal." the security situation in this
if you did not want to see someone coughing, maybe someone has cancer of the less. terrorism is a symptom due to suppression in the arab world and our farm policy. the reason that bin laden came to power was the palestinian issue. no one talks about the palestinian issue. we just celebrated killing bin laden. my comment is, number one, get out of afghanistan. we always said the taliban, surrender of bin laden or power. bin laden is gone. we have to get out of there. number two, we have to recruit moderate muslims either within the united states to find out the solution to win the hearts and minds of mall in slums. we will never do that by debating at releasing the bin laden pictures or not. thank you very much. host: in the "wall street
journal," president to renew muslim and outreach. this is talked about when it comes to building coalitions with moderate muslims. as the haymarket, va., where dave is on our democratic line. caller: good morning. i think it is natural to want to leave afghanistan now. but i think we should remember back in the late 1980's after the soviet union was kicked out of afghanistan with our funding. we basically abandoned afghanistan which led to the environment where the taliban rose and we ended up with al qaeda. we should remember the past and
not necessarily use this as an excuse to abandon the country again. host: in arkansas, paul is on our independent line. caller: we need to downsize afghanistan, and get out of iraq. iraq will be allied with iran. it has already started. it was a foolish endeavor going into our right. if the bush administration will play right into the terrorist hands by even updating of iraq, because the idea that they originally attacked us, the strategy was to bog us down in the war over there. like they did russia, and they destroyed their economy and it almost destroyed hours. host: what you see happening in afghanistan from here? you mentioned drawing down
troops. how long should they stay? caller: we do not need to trust pakistan anymore since they have been proven to be untrustworthy. since we have the troops there, and we have more contractors and military people, one of the reasons for though were continuing, the war profiteering. but we should downsize down to 20,000 are less and supplied them by air. so that we do not need pakistan you knew more. -- any more. host: a story from the "new york times." two new reports of raise questions about funding the war. both center on questions --
some questions there about effectiveness of mission. also in the "new york times," looking at the news surrounding osama bin laden, the u.s. is still waiting for access to his widow. pakistan has not allowed american investigators to talk with the or share their own reports. that is according to a pakistani official.
osama bin laden's sons are coming out against what has happened to their father. this also from the "new york times." a statement provided said the family was asking why he was not arrested and tried in a court of law. harrisburg, pa., terry is on our democratic line. caller: thank you for taking my call. those bin laden boys can come over to my neighborhood bar and we will take care of them. in afghanistan, we did what we needed to do but we will not get out because of the natural gas coming out. the pipeline that they're going to set up there. the earlier guy from georgia, talking about obama, i am a
white man and i fought in vietnam. it is really disgusting the way america has turned against our president, at least a segment down south there. they will never support this guy because he is african-american. it disgusts me that america has been torn apart and corporate america keeps jamming the wedge. host: i wanted to share an image of one of osama bin laden's son, omar, and his wife and he has denounced his father's terrorism. nick gingrich has said that he will run for president. to talk with us about that is a reporter from the "usa today." talk about how we as rolling out his announcement. you reported that this is a multi-phase process. guest: this started back in
march it means that he is looking into the presidency by not filing any paperwork. he is taking the next that today, announcing his presidential bid on twitter and facebook, something that temple in t and mitt romney did -- pawlenty and mitt romney did. host: why is he doing this. guest: it is something he has been looking to do for a long time and he believes that this is the moment. he really believes that the country is going in the wrong direction and that this is his moment. the people closest to him were surprised he did not run the last time. in 2008. however, at this point, he thinks that the water is warm.
host: your report in one of your stories for "usa today" that new gingrich will have to overcome several hurdles in coding -- including his infidelity in two previous managers -- marriages. guest: there was a "new york times" story about his wife. i think key is converting to catholicism and he is trying to remake his image. a lot of conservatives are looking at him and saying, i do not know if this guy is practicing what he preaches. there is a lot of values messaging and he is trying to overcome that and address it in a lot of interviews. on the other thing, he will have to overcome that he was such a huge figure in the 1990's.
he nodded -- the party is looking for a new face and new attitude and new ideas. that is another thing that newt gingrich will have to work it ever coming. host: you reported that although his name identification among conservatives as high, he is in the middle of the pack of a gallup poll released monday. you also talk about heat. in the south. who does he need to get support from in order to come out of the gate running? are we talking about social conservatives are fiscal conservatives? who is his base? guest: all did above. he is talking to a lot policy groups and traveling the country and doing everything from health care to training new gop candidates. he is looking for a broad base
of support. he needs everyone. salsa is a conservative are a big part of his double bass social conservatives are a big part of a certain star it -- constituency, but also reagan result -- reagan republicans. he says that he was on the front line with the contract on america, during that time period. is trying to capture their imagination in trying to get their support. host: it was not at the first gop debate but other big names were not there. how much your people talking about that debate? what do you expect him to do now? will he start engaging in things like that? will we see him debating and making stump speeches? guest: absolutely. he will take a very traditional approaches. he will go to the early states and be there a lot. i do not think anyone is going
to hold that first debate against them, or any other candidates that did not show up. i think it was a starting point, but in at the end of the day, when the next debate is in june, it will be an afterthought. you will see new gingrich in play and all those contests. host: jackie kucinich covering newt gingrich. thank you. do you think it is time to bring u.s. troops home? it is a drawdown been talked about this summer in the worst. let's go to our independent line. hello, can. -- ken. caller: i am really nervous so please bear with me. i'm a veteran.
i'll let to say this about afghanistan. i think it is an occupation. i do not believe that we cannot afford to stay whether we want to or not. i am reading of my notes, so my question is, who will surrender? to have a war, if you have to have a force, you have to have someone to say, we do not want the fight no more. and i do not believe anybody here as far as the united states, i do not think we are on the same page that we need to be as far as greed and compassion. i believe that there is compassion that needs to be -- we have -- we are compassionate people, i believe that. but we are also a bunch of greedy people. if we can define that line were
being able to be compassionate without being greedy and that is all i have to say and thank you. host: during your time of service when you're in the middle east? caller: no, i was in korea when no -- when they invaded iraq. i was not able to be deployed. host: you mentioned the idea of being the selfless are selfish. do you think the united states continued to send aid to afghanistan to build up the government there? caller: if they are not going to use the funds are appropriately as far as taking care of their own people, then no, if it is going to go to keeping -- i cannot think of the word, but the repression for their people, i would not support that and i don't believe anybody that is humanitarian in any way should support that.
host: let's look at it couple of commentaries from the "wall street journal." other terrorist groups such as hamas, hezbollah have survived the loss of their leaders. a different perspective, mission accomplished, hawkeye that is no longer of base there, it is no longer about vital american security interest. it is about the failure of america's political elites that faced to plain facts -- the al qaeda terrorist threat is no longer centered in that ancient battleground in the battle against the taliban is mainly for afghans themselves. faye joins us from michigan on the democratic line. caller: thank you for taking my call.
i think it is time to go. the mission is accomplished. the reason that we went into afghanistan in the first place -- hello? host: we are listening. caller: the reason we went in was to get the people that knocked down the world trade center. that the opt-in years and 40 minutes. soap -- that took 10 years and 40 minutes. so we have done that. osama bin laden is gone and the mission is accomplished. so what's it would do with the money being sent to afghanistan? we should reverse it. send it to the world trade center so that they can rebuild those towers and anything else that they want to put up in there. that's what that money should be going to. host: are you worried at all about afghanistan been a breeding ground, or pakistan for that matter, for future
terrorist? are you worried that afghanistan could be a place where future terrorists could get access to learning about fighting in things like that? should that be part of our concern? caller: that is their culture. that is all they know how to do. do any of these people worked anywhere? all they do is to terrorize. is that what their job is? is that their mission question mark i think that is their culture. that is the way of their life. host: us take a look at other stores in the news. this from the "wall street journal." a federal appeals court questioned the state of virginia's right to overturn the health care law. there is also a guide to argument in the "wall street journal," looking at what is
happening there. from japan, site of the earthquake and the nuclear power plant failure, japan cancelling its plan to build more nuclear plants, reports the "new york times the to and from the "washington post," also about japan, making the town of cayes again. it is looking at the aftermath of what happened. our question is about afghanistan and whether it is time to leave. as we get to more calls, we will it get another big story in the news, the president in texas yesterday talking about border security, immigration issues, and the president laid out the plant in el paso that would strengthen security along the southwest border and make it harder for businesses to hire illegal immigrants. let's take a look at a comment from twitter about afghanistan.
from a philadelphia, ronald weighs in on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. yes, the same administration and the president that caught bin laden had already stated he will draw down the trees. i don't see why everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. they did not accomplish what they were doing when they were there. but now they want to get that act of afghanistan which he already stated. >> they want to get out of afghanistan which he already stated. it will take time to come out of there. host: ramona is on a republican line also. caller: i wished that he would play a portion of the broadcast you had on both tv and -- book
tv. it was called the military retreat. but particularly, jack segal's comments on how we should not stress the word -- oh, gosh. anyway, we broaden the base of people who hate us if we make war with muslims. if you would play that segment, the annual broadcast on saturday, stressing the jack segal comment. host: what was the essence of what he was saying? caller: that there should not be stress on taliban, because the
word taliban does support muslims, only muslims. we're not fighting the muslims, and we're not fighting the taliban. but we are fighting al qaeda. but if we talk about taliban, we muslimsall the against us. and he stresses this. host: a comment from twitter. thanks for all of your calls and comments so far today. coming up, we will continue to talk about afghanistan and also pakistan, the strategy there with congressman robert andrews of new jersey. we will be right back. ♪
>> this weekend on c-span3, michael dukakis on the master politician calvin coolidge and how he involved into a popular political figure. all look back at jimmy carter and his handling of the energy crisis of the 1970's. the long-term restoration of the treasury building. and american history tv will be live from mississippi for the 50th anniversary of the freedom riders. get the complete schedule at our website. >> this weekend on c-span
[applause] the fall patrick talks about his life. last year's deepwater horizon oil rig explosion which killed 11 and released millions of barrels of oil into the gulf of mexico. william cohen shares is in sight on money and power, how goldman sachs came to rule the world. but for the complete schedule at our website into our schedules in your in box. sign up for alerts. >> let me be as clear as i can be. without significant spending cuts, and changes in the way we spend the american people's money, there will be no increase in the debt limit. >> follow the debate on the debt ceiling as lawmakers continued to work on economic issues in cooperman -- including government spending, taxes, and
the deficit online at the c- span video library. you can search, watch, a clip, and share washington your wait. >> "washington journal" continues. host: congressman rob andrews from new jersey. as member of the armed services committee, we are eager to hear your perspective on afghanistan. you said in a peace in the "star-ledger" that you think that the killing of osama bin laden will basically help expedite the withdrawal from afghanistan. guest: afghanistan, if you have to think of all parricide and a host, al qaeda is the parasite and the taliban has been the host. the purpose of the military surge in afghanistan, the 30,000 extra troops, was to begin to degrade the host and i think we have been relatively successful at that. and now with the death of bin
laden and a terrific exercise by the navy seals coming you have a weaker parasite. i think that means that you can withdraw from the effort of a lot sooner than we otherwise would. host: what authority does the united states -- responsibility do we have for nation-building? guest: we need to give them a reasonable chance to build their own future. we do not have the responsibility to build it for them. we went in 2001 and again 18 months ago to try to wipe out the taliban was so that the al qaeda parasite could not rule in that country. we of i completely succeeded in that but i think our troops have made great progress. the august press bought -- the august withdrawal process should start in august, and i think it should be very robust. i think that they could come a lot sooner than later went our
combat presence in afghanistan is no longer there. host: is there a danger of pulling out too soon and leaving fertile grounds for the host and the parasite? guest: there is, and you can measure that by the strength or weakness of the taliban. it is not a week -- it is not as weak as it used to -- as it needs to be, but it is weaker than it was. and i am confidence based on the decrease number of attacks and the decrease in violence we see from the taliban that they will be considerably weaker by august, and therefore the conditions on the ground will justify an expedited withdrawal of u.s. combat troops. host: one of your colleagues, a democrat, and joined with the republican of utah, in writing a letter to the president calling for him to read calibrate america's anti terrorism policies and in the war in afghanistan. a handful of democratic
colleagues signed on. would you sign on to this? is it too much? guest: i do not know what time when they put on there. but i think they are asking the president to do something he is already doing what he set out at west point in 2009 was to permanently degrade the taliban force. and then leave militarily and continued civil and economic assistance to the afghans to build a better country. and he established a schedule for that in december 2009, with the military withdrawal would begin in august 2011. he will stick to that schedule. he also said that the pace of that withdrawal would be a function of the strength or weakness of the taliban, because the taliban is weaker and because the al qaeda parasite is appreciably weaker with the death of bin laden, i think that schedule should be expedited. i think that is pretty much what my colleagues said in that letter you just reference. host: all local philadelphia
radio station -- you talked about what happened this and found it difficult that no one knew he was there. what does that mean? guest: if someone built a compound of a mile away from west point in new york, eight times larger than any house in the neighborhood, and never went in and out of the house and had no cellphones or internet service in the house, we would be suspicious as to what was going on there. our fbi or our law enforcement officials would take a look. anyone who believes that the pakistanis did not at least take a look at this is deluding themselves. i think the government has some explaining to do to their own people and to the united states. host: you said that this raises serious questions. what is your job as a member of congress now, withholding funding or severing some of the
relationship ties? guest: my job first of all is to get the facts. what did they know and why did they fail to act? and then to ask this question, pakistan has a robust nuclear arsenal. what action would make the jihadist in pakistan more or less likely to get control over the nuclear arsenal? we need to follow the policy that makes the jihadists less likely to get control over that nuclear arsenal. what that means in terms of continuing aid to the pakistani government, i do not know, and those are facts we need to find in the weeks and days ahead. i would focus on this one point -- pakistan has what our run once, a robust nuclear arsenal. -- iran wants, a robust
nuclear arsenal. we do not want a few good policy in the short run, but in the long run increases the probability that jihadists get that nuclear material and pose a threat to us and other piece that's loving people around the world. there is it temptation to make headlines and say we should not spend >> -- we should not send another penny to them. that has short-term appeal. but the question we should be asking is what policy will make it less likely that jihadist elements will get control of the nuclear weapons and pakistan. host: is that delicate balancing act? do you want to see specific action tied to money, and a lot of scholars have called in and express concerns about
pakistan's role. does it need be spelled out to the american people to have confidence in what exactly we are getting from pakistan? guest: it does need to be spelled out. when did they know, who knew what they knew, and when did they know it, and what to do about it? host: in that they did nothing, they should be punished? guest: that is an interesting question. and i make this conjecture to you. assuming that someone in the pakistani intelligence network you that osama bin laden was in that compound, the worst-case scenario would be that they helped him escape if they felt we were coming after him. no one apparently did that. the best case scenario with that they help us get him. maybe they would be patient and wait and let us get him but not interfere. we should think about whether or not that was not the position
that pakistani government to. that is a shade of gray, now what -- and not what we want them to do, but not the worst. the outcome is that osama bin laden is no longer in this world and that is very good. host: congressman rod andrews in his 12th term, representing new jersey's first district, including camden. he served on the on services committee and the budget committee. as get to the fund. helen from the democrats' line, calling from maine. caller: some politicians have discussed the option of rearming the northern alliance as a counterweight against the taliban and helping us to ease our way out of afghanistan. i am wondering if you could discuss the pros and cons of that argument. guest: pecans are that we're
never quite sure who is running the northern alliance and whether their goal is justice for all afghans, or advantage for themselves. the pros are that they are rather a debt military organization. over the years, they have been more amenable to u.s. interests certainly than the taliban has. and they have been a lot more humane to the afghan people. it is a strategy i would favor based upon that weighing of the pros and cons. after we have departed militarily, modest military aid to the northern alliance, i think, would make sense. host: in georgia, lindsey, a republican collar. caller: i was calling on removing guard troops to afghanistan? i am going to say, i am a military spouse. i support the decision no matter what they do.
but as far as the funding situation, i think they should withdraw some of that and apply it to hear, buying homes for veterans and situations like that. we have habitat for humanity here and stuff like that. guest: i am with you on that one. first of all, thank you for your service that your family is making for country. billions of dollars we're spending in afghanistan should be applied to deficit reduction. it should be increasing the quality of your housing in the education for your children. all the more reason why we should expedite all withdrawal from afghanistan caller: i agree totally on that. guest: thanks again for your service. host: let's hear from margaret from louisiana. caller: i understood he had already got his paycheck.
they decided to carry on about all the money that they had been spending. we have a total 868 years with my husband and two of my sons. they have put this on the military to take money from, or even talk about it. i have two sons in the active reserves. one has been in iraq four times. he has been in for 29 years in the united states navy. he has been around the world four times. and he is on food stamps. and what is the other thing? guest: medicaid are medicare? caller: know. they just call the one back last tuesday. he has not worked all summer. guest: margaret, let me say we
appreciate your family services well. you make a good point about economics. our country is borrowing 40 cents of every dollar that we spend. a lot of it from the chinese. to recapture some of that $160 billion a year we spend between iraq and afghanistan, i think we have to do that and use it to increase the quality of life for our troops, use it to decrease the deficit, and other critical investments here in the united states like to coup -- investing in our special forces and education systems. all the more reason that the next time around back here i hope we talk about our successful withdrawal from both afghanistan and iraq. host: a question from twitter. what indicators to you have? guest: we received a briefing
from general petreaus on the committee about five weeks ago. he presented some documents that covered the number of attacks, the number of casualties, the number of weapons seized, the number of taliban operators killed are rounded up. all of the metrics -- the bad ones were down and the good ones were up. the number of captures and kills were up, the number of weapons seized were up. the hard data would show the taliban is considerably weaker than it was in the spring of 2010. it is still not stamped out. it is still not a force that can be ignored. but general petreaus, i think, presented compelling evidence that things are moving in the right direction. host: we heard from general campbell who is the u.s. military commander responsible for afghanistan's eastern
border. he talked with reporters this week. that's your little bit of what he had to say. >> that corporation has been the best we have ever seen it. the time to battalion, brigade to brigade, opening those lines of communication have helped all of those lines across the border that regional command shares with pakistan. so i think it has gone really well. after the bin laden piece, for a day or two, we had communication issues. we did not have very good contact, but two days ago, they conducted a brigade to brigade porter flag meeting, and it was the best meeting they had had. we continue to secret operation at least at the tactical level. host: that is the eastern
commander in afghanistan. talk about the partnership with pakistan, dealing with tactical corporations. he does not seem to be concerned with pakistanis. guest: general campbell is someone that we should listen to when we talk about cutting off aid to pakistan. the easy political thing to do is to say, not one dime for the pakistanis because we think they knew bin laden was in their midst. that is an interesting emotional reaction, but listen to what the general said. pakistani forces are an active and positive force in helping us flush the taliban outside of the fatahs. they are a very good ally. to undercut that alliance at a time when we are trying to degrade the abilities of the taliban would be counterproductive to our interest.
so i think his argument is one of the better arguments for being slow, patient, and methodical about making the decision about aid to pakistan. host: rich in chicago. republican caller. caller: i just wanted to say, i never saw a president, our commander in chief, so maligned for such a successful operation in the history of our country. it is so sad to see this attack upon him and everyone is second- guessing whether us being in afghanistan is creating a vacuum for them to again attack us. i think we really need to think about this republican circus that is starting to malign the
wonderful success of our country has enjoyed. we have seen the positives of this threat of the country. now all of the pundits are starting to come in and attack. guest: i think president obama did a spectacular job on his decision making in this bin laden episode. why am very proud of him. whether you are a republican, democrat, or independent, you should admire the president and be proud of what he did. we should also give credit to where credit is due, the navy seals and other military organizations that were part of this, the intelligence agencies that did such a good job. this is what american team work looks like. i am very proud of the president and everyone who had something to do with this operation. i am a philadelphia sports fan.
philadelphia is the only city in america where you can experience the exhilaration of victory on 19 and the agony of reading about it the next day in the newspapers. this was a spectacular success for america. what the punditocracy has turned into is whether or not we should release his photographs. he was the number one person that was wanted. host: twitter asks, what would victory look like? guest: the taliban would be unable to launch an offensive thrust and regain control over large parts of the country. and the afghan people themselves would be going about
the process of building a school system, court system, agricultural economy, so on and so forth, and we would be at home saying, congratulations by the way, it is not our job to build their school system or agriculture system or government. it is their job. it was our job to give them the chance to do so, in a way that would make it nearly impossible for al qaeda to once again gain a foothold in the country. we have not yet accomplished that, but i think we are moving in the right direction. in august, when the troop withdrawal is scheduled to begin, it should begin and should be robust and expedited. host: the u.s. has 100,000 troops in afghanistan. there is a piece in "the telegraph" in london.
guest: i do not think 10,000 is enough and i do not think three years is soon enough. given the death of bin laden, it justifies a much more robust withdraw. i do not think it should happen over a three-year period. it should happen sooner. i knowledge the possibility that the taliban could reemerge and gain significant control over parts of the country, but we
cannot support the indefinite occupation of afghanistan. it is a recipe for disaster. the russians have a problem with it. the invaders of the middle -- medieval times had problems with it. host: rebecca from california. democrat's line. guest: you arearly. caller: good morning. yes, i am. i love watching "washington journal." my first question is about the state of women in afghanistan. i remember before the war started, before 9/11, i had known some people there fighting for women's rights in the taliban. i remember learning how completely oprah said the taliban were two women, thinking
we should do something about them. i was reading how the afghan soldiers -- i am sorry, i am kind of nervous. i remember hearing how the afghan women's shelters are being handed back over to the government. women trying to escape from abusive relationships or something like that will not be able to get protection. they will just be handed back over to the family. i am worried about women's rights there. if we pull out, what is the status of women? my second question is about mineral resources, like rare earth minerals. i know they said there is, like, a trillion dollars worth in afghanistan. china has a lot of the refining capabilities for rebirth, and has bought a lot of the mining
there. i was wondering if we were there to make it safe for mining interests. if china is going to profit from that, is there anyway that they could help us pay for the war in afghanistan? guest: i will take the second first. whatever mineral rights exist in afghanistan is the property of the afghan people. we want them to be able to decide what to do with those assets. hopefully, we have a positive business relationship with them, but it is their call. as far as women, the number one threat to the welfare of women in afghanistan was the 15th century ideology of the taliban. one of the reasons we are there is to drive them and their 15th century ideology out of the country permanently. we have not accomplished that but we are well on the way. the best thing that i can tell
you to show that the status of women has improved in the country is that now girls go to school in afghanistan. essentially, none of them did in 2001, when the taliban was running the country. i am proud of our troops and our country, that we have made it possible for girls to read and do that and go to school the way than boys do. i can think of a few more things that are more worth fighting for them that, and i am glad we are succeeding, however, it is not the job of the u.s. to secure -- to guarantee that security in the future. that is why i am convinced the time has come to withdraw sooner rather than later. host: congressman rob andrews sits on the budget committee. outgoing secretary gates has called for $70 billion in
defense cuts over the next five years. do you agree with his position? guest: i do not think it is enough. i certainly agree with his position, but i would present these facts. if you put the money aside in iraq and afghanistan and look at the rest of the budget, it is 50% higher than it was seven years ago. we have the same number of planes, ships, and essentially the same number of people in uniform. this is not adding up. we have had cost overruns of $300 billion on major weapons systems. we spend four times as much on mundane goods, such as bottled water, paint. if walmart were our supply chain, we would be spending less. we can be just as robust, strong, just as secure by spending a significant amount
less in the defense budget than we do while supporting our troops and families. i think, as part of the deficit reduction discussion that is going on now in the capital, one of the results of that discussion ought to be a significant restraint of defense spending over the next five, 10 years. host: can you convince republicans of that? guest: i think so. there were a number of amendments brought to the house floor for defense reductions. large numbers of republicans, including freshman republicans, voted for that. i think there is an emerging consensus that america must be the strongest country in the world at all time, but being the strongest country in the world does not require that the kind of defense spending that we have seen in recent years go on forever. especially when we withdraw from
iraq and afghanistan in a sensible way, that frees up $170 billion a year. i strongly favored applying that mostly to reducing our deficit. host: wilson in butler, indiana. republican call. caller: thank you for taking my call. one thing the gentleman said that was right on the money is, if you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it. when you said occupation, you nailed it. i do not know when the united states decided to become the moral compass of the world, worrying about afghan people going to school when our major inner cities are being destroyed. our borders are wide open. this is the only question i want to know. if we go to war, who is the enemy? who is the enemy, did we declare war? and if you are in a war, you do
not sit there with a calculator saying, we have to save a bullet -- you know what i am saying? until the u.s. realizes that we need to bring our soldiers home -- if we attacked because of 9/11, we should have gone to saudi arabia. we have to take care of america and take care of our own people. i served in the military for 10 years. i will go wherever my country tells me to go. but if you go to war, you must declare war and use every resource available to destroy the enemy. when is america going to learn that occupation and trying to make other people live the way that we decide for them to live is not going to work? guest: we declared war a couple of days after 9/11 on the people that planned 9/11.
they were based in afghanistan and harbored by the taliban government that was running afghanistan at the time. we made, in my view, a correct decision to make an ultimatum to that taliban government to say either turn over al qaeda or we will make you. so the attack in afghanistan in the fall of 2000 was -- 2001 was entirely justifiable. we degraded the taliban significantly. then we kind of dropped the ball, took our focus off of afghanistan, author of al qaeda, to be honest, and the country fell back to the situation in had been in prior to 2001, where the taliban had far too much influence and the ability to manage the country. so president obama made a decision in 2009 to ramp up our
involvement once again in afghanistan to hopefully permanently flush out al qaeda and the people who had been supporting al qaeda, which is the taliban. i think that was the correct decision. i think we have largely accomplished that mission. i think it will be substantially accomplished by august of this year, and then the drawdown should begin expeditiously. i do not think we should occupy afghanistan for any indefinite period of time. host: the president's approval rating at the highest in two years. 60% now approve of the job the president is doing and more than half say he deserves to be reelected. guest: the president inherited a
real mess in the country. i think we were on the presses of the depression, the country was in trouble. i think he has done a very good job of addressing those concerns. he has made some mistakes -- who has ann't? he is an intelligent and good leader taking us in the right direction and i will marquardt for his reelection. host: one of our followers on twitter asks -- guest: i would, so long as we maintain the kind of should to do for 22 get done. -- strategic force we need to get done. those forces took off for
pakistan from somewhere. so we need to be a will to project force around the world, whether on land, sea, or air. but i do not think we need the complex of bases that we have in western europe, which were really designed to to feed the soviet union in a ground war in europe the house of a ground war in europe are, happily, in an testily small. there are a lot of bases in europe that we should close. host: bill in st. louis. democratic caller. caller: good morning. we have been in afghanistan for 10 years, spent over $1 trillion. we slaughtered, between afghanistan and iraq, over 1 million people. we did not go into afghanistan -- we asked the taliban to turn bin laden over and they said
they would if the u.s. showed prove that bin laden had something to do with 9/11. we did not and invaded the country. why are you not saying anything about the legal war in iraq? we all know that we relied to to get in there. why is george bush not in court for this disaster in iraq. why don't you go to fallujah? it is like hiroshima. there are so many nuclear effects, birth defects have gone through the roof. guest: i would disagree about the point that we refuse to turn over evidence that bin laden was responsible for 9/11 when we made the ultimatum to the taliban. that is not true. the u.s. intelligence community made available to afghan leaders at a rather compelling proof that bin laden was, in fact,
responsible for 9/11. he even bragged about it in the days that followed. removing that government was entirely justifiable. i think we have made mistakes since then, but we should not beforeze for 1 minute removing the government that made it possible for osama bin laden to attack on september 11. host: rep. robert andrews represents the first district of pennsylvania. you have a lot of commuters going to philadelphia.
host: what are your concerns about that? guest: would keep me up at night is the following. the death of bin laden and the capturing of all of this incredible intelligence makes it much less likely al qaeda will be able to pull off a spectacular attack on the united states. a nuclear bomb in times square, a small pox attack. their ability to do that has been substantially degraded. i think they will next turn to low-budget, low-tech attacks on the american people. that does mean a suicide bomber on a train. or a hand grenade thrown into a sports arena or hotel. i am worried about these things.
the only way for us to address this is to do what you mention -- my philadelphia area. a few years ago, a young man working in a video store was asked to reproduce some tapes. as he was doing the reproductions, he noticed that it looked like training for terrorists. so he called the fbi, and that led to the successful prosecution of what has been come to be known as the fort dix 6. we do not want to become a country that is paranoid spying on our neighbors, but we want to always be vigilant when there is something out of the ordinary. the other story was the vendor in times square, who saw that
suv parkton. this is the kind of vigilance the american people will need. i do worry that the next attack will be an attack that costs a few hundred bucks with a low grade explosive device in some place, like the mall, out here, so we have to be on guard. host: what can congress do, what role do you have in preventing such an attack? guest: this will sound counter intuitive. we need to have more exchange programs, educational programs, with the young muslims around the world. if young muslims believe americans are their friends and believe we want to live in peaceful coexistence, which we do, they will become a volleyball ally in this effort to identify haters and terrorists. but if we drive heat on muslims away, police -- allow them to
believe that american disrespects them, then they will turn on us, and a number of people that would do us harm will grow. i know many americans want to build a wall and say, keep them out of america -- look, if someone is a terrorist, you are right, they should be kept out. but if someone is a medical student or and historian, let us interact with them and tell them the truth of america have. this is a place where all faiths and all people are respected. if we tell them the truth, there will be more people around the world with the to do what we need them to do, which is identify and help us stop those people who are murderers and terrorists. host: the times square plot would have cost just $700.
-- $7,000. let us go to san diego. brett is a republican caller. caller: good morning, congressman andrews, good morning, libby. a few points and some questions. as far as the occupation, as far as i know, the taliban was a terror organization that was terrorizing their own people, their own women. that is a fact. i believe is a peace mission now. -- it is a peace mission now. on how we pulled
out of iraq and focus on afghanistan? we cannot pull out of afghanistan if there is still terror among the people. it does not make sense. and about obama getting a bad beat. it is possibly the way that we got this information, waterboarding, and what not. thank you. peace is priceless. a afghans need it. god bless america. >> i agree -- guest: i agree with your premise we cannot leave afghanistan if there is a viable force of the taliban that would recreate a base for al qaeda that we set to destroy. i believe, based upon the facts on the ground, we are headed toward the day this summer where that base is substantially degraded, and over a period of 12 months or so, will be largely
gone. that is the justification for an expedited withdrawal from afghanistan, not simply a political reaction. host: dan is in virginia beach. democratic caller. caller: bear with me, first-time caller. i am a little nervous. guest: relax. caller: the young people are the answer in afghanistan. if you think back, what bin laden did, they took the young people and brainwashed them enough so that they would want to kill other people. we need to bring them into our western culture. we need to let them know that we have mtv, twitter, everything.
young people listening to music. it does not make young people dumb, if they listen to music. those young people are the same. i have something else to say. earlier, someone asked, a reporter asked why newt gingrich would run for president now when he had all these opportunities and did not. let me tell you why. i am originally from mississippi. newt gingrich sees that there is a segment in our country -- and i am sorry, mostly white people, but 30% of the country will not accept obama, no matter what he does. he could end the war and to all
of these things and will still not accept him. newt gingrich is going to ride on that 35%. they would rather vote for anyone other than him. if he could get through the republican primary, beating president obama would be easy. he thinks he knows have to turn a certain segment in the country, but they do not believe this country would vote for a black man two times. guest: i have tremendous respect for newt gingrich. i think it is beyond racial measures. he has never taken the opportunity to make the argument that his opponents are against him because of his race.
instead, what he has tried to do is to unify americans behind a common purpose. that is why people are reacting in a positive way. that is why i hope he will be reelected for a second term. host: in oregon, built. republican caller. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have a question about the budget for the military. when you pass the military budget, i believe there was a lot of stuff added on that had nothing to do with military. ethanol, a bridge to nowhere -- i do not remember all of it. if you want to cut the budget from the military, why not get rid of the stuff that has nothing to do with the military? guest: i would invite you to watch on one of the sister
networks on c-span -- we will be spending the entire day from 7:00 your time debating the budget. it is also available online to read. none of the things that you talk about are in the budget. no ethanol money, bridge to nowhere. every penny is, in some way or another, related to the defense of the country, supporting missions around the world. i know sometimes people think the military budget is used to hide these other things, but it is not. i would challenge you to go onto the internet to read it. host: what do you think about raising the debt ceiling? guest: we have to do it or the global economy will suffer. and we should do it soon, so we do not create a lack of confidence in the credit
markets and raise mortgage rates, card rates, hurt the economy. host: we will talk more about the debt ceiling and our next segment. in the meantime, thank you, rep. robert andrews. next, congressman jeff like to talk about the deficit and other issues related to that. >> senator john kerry, chairman of the foreign relations committee says he will soon travel to pakistan to mend relations with the government in the aftermath of the raids that killed zero osama bin laden. the senator says we have a huge interest and there is lots to discuss. he will be the first u.s. official to visit the country since last week's raid. meanwhile, the leader of al qaeda in yemen is warning the u.s. that osama bin laden's death does not mean the end of the fight and is threatening worse attacks in the future.
ronald noble, the secretary- general for interpol, says the information gathered by the u.s. is probably being cross referenced with interpol databases already, adding the u.s. is one of the most active users of their data base. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> experience american history starting saturdays at 8:00 eastern. 48 hours of people and events telling the american story. firsthand accounts from people who have shaped american history. travel to import battlefields to learn about key figures and events that shaped an era. visit college classrooms across the nation as professors delve
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"newsmakers." host: congressman just like, republican of arizona, welcome. -- jeff flake, republican of arizona, welcome. there are arguments that the deficit should be raised. what do you think? guest: if you are going to raise its, it would be irresponsible to do it without significant cuts. we need caps in their health if congress fails to meet its spending targets, and then some long-term reforms. something that injures we do not
continually get into this situation. host: house speaker john banner spoke earlier in the week talking about exchanging. has he aimed to hide? >> not at all. it depends on how quickly those take effect. if we were to get $2 trillion in spending cuts initially in the first year, obviously, we would not need to raise the debt ceiling. we are running a deficit of about $1.50 trillion now. so i assume he is talking about a few years. is that too steep? not at all. host: where do you start? guest: we had a good start with the cr, discretionary spending
cuts that totaled $38 billion. in my view, that was not enough. we should have cut $100 billion. we have to get to entitlement spending. you cannot deal with this crisis if you ignore entitlement spending, in particular, medicare, medicaid, social security. host: some of your colleagues were hit with town hall meetings, public forums whenever back home or last public recess over issues of medicare and medicaid. how were you received back home? guest: i was asked, after i voted for the republican budget, how are you going to sell this in arizona? my first stop was leisure world, in my district. when seniors understand, first, if we act now, what we're doing will not apply to current seniors.
if you are qualified to live in a leisure world, the changes do not apply to you. it would not apply to anyone over 55. but seniors care about their kids and grandkids. they know unless we change the system, medicare will be gone. according to cbo, it will run out of money by 2020. i was received well, telling the truth, and people wanted that. paul ryan had 19th town halls, and they went well. host: you mentioned the initial goal of cutting $100 billion in spending. that was ratcheted down. but house speaker john boehner said that it was a target, a pledge. do you feel like leadership is promising more than it can deliver? you still need to get a coalition in congress, democrats on board.
there is some talk in this article that you have set the bar high. so how do you hit that without compromising? guest: i am all for hitting a high target. a few of us to initially voted against the cr because we knew that we needed more. if we are going to compromise, we may as well compromise with the higher number. you do have to compromise in the senate. we know that. but with the debt limit increase, we have to show we are serious about getting control of our deficit. if we do not, world markets will respond, and at some point, we will have a treasury auction with no takers of our debt. the only responsible thing is to raise the debt ceiling $2 trillion more. that would be extremely irresponsible to do without it the vacant reforms.
host: so could you see voting against it, realistically? guest: yes, but i do not see the president holding out for reforms, realistically. initially, if we say no, they will come back and we will reform it. in part to a killer, spending caps that will kick in if we fail to meet our spending targets -- those have got to be a part of the equation. host: rep. jeff flake represents arizona's sixth district, serving in the house and also running for the senate. you can join the conversation by calling, thdemocrats, 202-737- 0002. republicans, 202-737-0001. independents, 202-628-0205. president obama was in texas yesterday talking about immigration. obviously, an issue that affects your state.
"the new york times" says that he went to elpaso. what was your take away from his speech? guest: i wish she would come to arizona. in texas, they have had a significant drop. in arizona, in the tucson sector, we still have a quarter million apprehensions a year. for every one that is apprehended, nearly three get by. so when the president ridicules those who think we do not have sufficient border security, it kind of hurts and arizona where we have a lawless situation along the southern border. in particular, for those land owners, for the president to say that they were done with this, and to those who wanted security
-- maybe they want a moat and an alligator, too. that is demeaning. this is important to a lot of us. host: the president reiterated his goals to the path to citizenship. guest: there is one element there that does not belong in immigration reform, and that is the issue of individuals that come here, indicated in u.s. universities, receiving advanced degrees, and then we do not have sufficient visas to keep them here. it is crazy to send them home after we have educated them in this manner.
so i introduced the staple act, a clever acronym for stapling a green card to your diplomas. if you get a diploma in these fields, advanced degrees, we ought to roll out the red carpet and beg them to stay. that is a separate issue. some of these other issues -- host: the dream act? guest: that belongs as a part of comprehensive reform. that will come after we have a more secure border. in arizona, no one will trust the federal government to move ahead on the other elements of immigration reform until we have a more secure border. i have worked on comprehensive reform over the past decade, have beaten my head against the wall, with others, and in arizona, we have come to the conclusion -- things have changed.
now virtually every one that crosses hires a smuggler to get them in. increasingly, they have to carry drugs across to decrease the price of their passage. there is too much violence on the border. particularly, the situation in northern mexico. there could be an election there where the new government does not fight the cartels, but maybe they will cut a deal with the current government. so you could have a situation that is even more dire, increases the need to have a secure border, which we do not have now, regardless of what the president says. host: ernest is a republican. good morning. caller: i would also like to comment about the debt ceiling, immigration. forgive me, i am a little nervous.
i think we are compromising too much. we are trying to assimilate other people into our country. there are some people who are serious about wanting to be assimilated into this country. they really work hard to be a true american. but there are a lot of people that are using this citizenship issue to tear the country apart. we talk about muslims too much. look at other countries where they are killing questions. they are only trying to preach what is right. -- killing christians.
we understand that, but you cannot equate those churches with the good ones. guest: you bring up the idea of assimilation. that has always been the desire of immigrants coming to america. that needs to continue, and i hope it does. host: georgetown, texas. barbara is on the democratic line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i just wanted to ask the congressman about the debt ceiling. i am uncomfortable with what the republicans are proposing, not wanting to raise the debt limit. i do not say that we have very much choice. what i wanted to ask the congressman is, where were they when the bush administration was running up this debt?
.ow they're all upset about it they did not want to be responsible and pay for the wars, putting it off the balance sheets. now that we have this debt, they do not want to be responsible and handle it in a way to come up with a plan where we can keep things liveable. guest: you make a good point. in 2006, republicans spent in an awful way. however, some of us did stand up. the worst piece of legislation, in my view, after the healthcare bill that we passed a couple years ago, was the prescription drug benefit the republicans passed in 2003. it was not paid for. it added trillions in unfunded liabilities for future generations. and we did it with republicans in both chambers, a republican in the white house. we have had bloated farm bills,
transportation bridges to know where, the other earmarks. we should not excuse what we did. we were headed toward this fiscal cliff long before barack obama took the wheel. we have just stepped on the governor and are getting their faster. but make no mistake, we would be in this situation sooner or later, if we do not commit to change. i am glad republicans seem to have found religion on the debt ceiling. i am not arguing in needs to be raised, it will, but it should not be done without significant reforms. host: colorado. tom on the independent line. caller: paul ryan's plan was basically laughed at by the cbo. the reason obama spends more
money is because of keynesian economics. we have to get out of this. every dollar we spend is an economic base multiplier. it adds up to $1.70 it spent right. you have to stimulate the economy. cutting things is wrong. as far as medicare and all of this, we are not in number one in the world. if you go to the world order and organization, we are no. 36, with close to recap. you say that we do not need -- you look at the best health care systems in the world. you tell me how they are working. they are public options. and if you go to the rand corp., and if you do not think health care is being affected -- right now, every car that you buy, $1,000 of it is going to health care. guest: i am not sure if you are
making the point that we need to change medicare or not. it will be completely out of money. those advocating an end to medicare, we want to make sure that this continues. those who have the status quo are arguing for this program's demise. for example, when harry reid says we are ok with social security, we have a trust fund until 2037. he and americans know that there is no money in the trust fund. right now, we are starting to pay out more money than we are starting to take in. and there are 10,000 baby boomers who retire every day. in the 1950's there were 16 workers for every retiree. now there are fewer than three. you cannot go on with a system like that. making the point that we should
not change the system -- we have to. ."st: in "the hill guest: i am not ready to take medicare off the table. you have to perform it. anything resembling the current safety net needs to be changed. for those nearing retirement, they have saved for a system that is in place. it would not make sense to pull the rug out from under them. for those in the future, it has
to change. for medicare, yes, we should block grant it. states can do better if they do not have to deal with stipulations and requirements set by the federal government. in arizona, we have state issues. the state legislature dealt with them admirably. in 2014, unless we have reform, and arizona is able to do with its medicaid population in a more reasonable manner, then the budget problem we are having in arizona are nothing compared to what we will have in a few years when these new stipulations kick in. yes, we need to block grant money to the states and give them the flexibility they need to manage their programs. host: susan writes to us on twitter and says, to me, it
seems raising the debt ceiling is impossible. and did she see you on "from a watch close code that you do not want to raise it? guest: i think it will be raised. the president says we need to live again reforms. i think we need spending cuts, spending caps, long-term budget reforms. host: rob is a republican in illinois. caller: my first point and then a couple of questions. i am glad to see the government tried to live within their means. as i understand, the government is supported by income taxes. the more people might, the more they will have to spend, the more the government gets a benefit of that. will the government back off on regulations and start allowing more onshore oil drilling?
we have never had an accident with onshore. it can be controlled. guest: i am an advocate for all of the above, when it comes to energy strategy. it is easier to permit for onshore drilling. part of the reason that we have had to go offshore is because we have locked up many parts around the u.s. from drilling. that is not helping us with energy dependence. you make some good points. with regard to where we get the revenue in the government, there are some that say the path out of this debt problem we have is simply to raise taxes. but if you look over the past 50 years, at the highest marginal rate we have had, in terms of income taxes, it has been as high as 91%, as low as 29%.
you would think that there would be revenues coming in with revenues -- with tax is being that much. however, the percentage has only varied from 15% to 21%. regardless of what the percentage is, the same amount of revenue comes in. so there are limits to what you can do by raising income tax rates. you need a growing economy. in order to do that, you need a conducive tax and regulatory environment for businesses to do so. you have got to have the private economy grow. host: he mentioned drilling onshore. there have been spills upstream, in places like alaska, at the wellheads. guest: yes, you are right. we are safer than before and can
balance our needs. but when you look at the overall environment, you need to look at -- do we have regulations in place here, in the u.s., compared to elsewhere? of course we do. it concerns me that people say, let's not do it here. but allows some of us to do it. it is all polluting the same planet. maintaining the and then it -- maintaining the plant is important. postcode democrats announced legislation they would like to see happen that would roll back subsidies for oil companies. essentially give them less breaks. that money could be used to start paying off the deficit. what do you think? guest: we should roll back any corporate subsidy that is in excess of any corporate sort --
corp., in terms of appreciation or anything else. a lot of what is being talked about with the oil companies is overstated. for my purpose, i have been against the subsidies. if we can roll them back, great. if we could also roll them back on ethanol, we should do that. a host of other corporate subsidies. we should not be doing it. the notion that we are going to solve our deficit, that problem by doing that is a bit far- fetched. host: connie is from maryland. democratic caller. caller: good morning. what i would like to talk about is, medicare -- i have seen my daughter burke from the time she was 17. now she is in her 50's. she paid into medicare and she
would lose all of that money. it does not make sense. we would never have medicare if people could afford to pay for insurance. that was the whole point of the program. they could not get decent care or could not afford it. people who have a job and carry their insurance over should not be able to get medicare. that would be one way to fix it. guest: you make a good point. if your daughter has worked your entire life and she puts into medicare, if we can city -- continue with the status quo, money will not be around for her. we need to make this program sustainable for long term, and we cannot do that under the current structure. i should also make the point, the average couple, but over their lifetime, pays and about $150,000, or something to that
effect. the average couple draws benefits somewhere near $300,000. so that is a system that cannot go on that way, and you need to reform it in a way to bring down costs. that is what we are trying to do as republicans. host: ed is our next call. caller: if they want to take 10% of my social security, that is fine. my other suggestion would be, whenever we sell a bushel of wheat, soybeans, whatever, trade them for some of those treasury bonds. another suggestion would be to create a fund, and voluntarily, and then wells fargo, bank of america could start it, and then we could start to buy back those treasury bonds.
guest: 30 years ago, about 5% of u.s. treasuries were held by foreigners. that is troublesome in terms of our foreign policy. and let the people speculate that china does not need to build up their military to defeat us. they simply need to stop buying our notes. that is my concern. congress tends to act right when we are staring off into the abyss, and the members of congress will put their careers on hold and do what they know is right for the country. the problem as i see it right now is we do not know where that next fiscal cliff is. the last one came in 2009 with the tarp and then voted against it. we need to do something.
many members put their careers on line. what worries me is we do not know where that next cliff is it. it behooves us to act now before we have a treasury auction. then we will have to inflate rates. i just want to avoid debt. it is imperative that, with its debt limit increase, we get significant reforms to send the signal to the world into the markets that we are serious about getting a hold of our deficit. sitsngressmean jeff flake on the appropriations committee. let's go to new york, new york, john is on our independent line. caller: congress man, for your
honesty, especially about the year 2000 to 2006, i am curious about various radiological stances about raising taxes. the reason that i am is james madison, thomas jefferson said every generation should pay for its own wars and not pass it on to its children or grandchildren. then alan simpson comes along as a co-chair of the dead commission and says i tell my republican friends that we have paid for every war including the revolutionary war except for iraq and afghanistan. then he says at a later time that even ronald reagan, th hero e hero of so many republicans raise taxes 11 times. you sound like a very reasonable person. i wonder if you, like speaker
john boehner and everyone else, that there is no way that we can solve this debt crisis with any increase in taxes. i do not like paying taxes. but at the history and various republicans alike reagan and simpson saying we have done it when we needed to makes me wonder if you are in that era of ideological crowd or if you have a more reasonable stance, that everybody needs to have a mutual shared sacrifice. guest: i do believe that we need to bring in more tax revenue. that is a separate argument then raising tax rates. we could lower the rates, as low as 25% as the top marginal rate but that would require getting rid of certain deductions and tax credits that some people view as raising taxes if you are
getting rid of a credit that i currently take advantage of it. that is the sacred cow that we have to slay. you are going to have to get rid of a lot of these special interest provisions, credit, and deductions, whether it is the oil industry taking advantage, ethanol, or cotton subsidies, you have to get rid of those in order to bring in more tax revenue without raising rates. the caller makes a great point. i think we are going to have to get honest about where we are. host: "politico" had a recent story -- you have announced you're running for that seat.
voters are divided with your favorability rating. what do you make of this? guest: that paul is highly inaccurate. she would beat me by double digits. let me just say, i think if gabrielle giffords is able to run for the senate, it would be the most wonderful thing in the world because that would mean that she has recovered. the race is underway, and we feel we are doing well, and we are going to keep going. right now, we are the only one in the race. sometimes we wish it was a british system. we feel good about the race and about our chances right now. host: how do you go up against an opponent who has not yet announced? guest: all like to say is i wish the very best for my colleague and my personal friend.
we will cross that bridge when we come to it. host: have you thought about other challengers that might step up in this race? guest: there is a number of names out there, a lot of qualified individuals. we will joint that battle when we get to it. right now, i have a day job on the appropriations committee and in the house. i think that is a message that sells well in arizona. the number one issue as a go across the state is that debt and the deficit. if we want to have jobs created, they are not going to be created by the government. we need the private economy to do it. one thing that is overlooked is the regulatory burden that is out there. i talked to small businesses who say their biggest worry is what
federal agency will show up on their door and will want to regulate a part of their business. it is just overwhelming. we have to roll that back if we want to grow this economy. caller: hi. host: go ahead and turn down your tv. you are on with the congressmen. do you have a comment for us? caller: yeah. my comment -- am i on? host: yes. what is your comment? caller: its seems like the republican party mindset has always been to protect the taxation of the corporations. we have corporations that have mailboxes in the cayman islands that are paying no income tax.
the republican party is known to by the wall bled street banks and other corporations. they have a lot of foundations out there. they are trying to figure out ways to get around tax loopholes. host: jan writes in on twitter -- guest: is going to be difficult. the point that toby makes about too many corporations located offshore, largely they are doing that because our corporate tax rate is the second largest in the world. if we have a lower corporate tax rate to get. of a lot of these deductions and credits that these companies take advantage of, he is right, some of them are paying no taxes.
that is not right. when a small business is hit so hard and some of these major corporations escape it, it is not right. we have to lower the overall rate and get rid of some of these credits and deductions. from republican in philadelphia. good morning. caller: good morning. i agree with that last caller about everything. my question is since we do not want to end the drug war, why don't we cut the federal housing administration that left them? guest: i am not sure how to answer that. i would have to look at that. host: some republicans have said we have to get back to the constitutionally mandated mission and get rid of the education department. guest: i think if you look at
our involvement in education, it has not been a pretty picture. it would be tough to argue that we are better off as a country after the department of education was created. if you look at arizona, for example, 60% to 70% of mandates that local school districts have to comply with for only about 8% of the federal funding that they receive from the government. i did not have an epiphany when i got to washington about how local schools should be run. my kids go to traditional public schools and our best to run by the administrators and teachers there, not some elected official who thinks just because they were elected to congress did know how to run schools. host: let's hear from john in arkansas, a democratic collar. caller: good morning.
i am really ashamed of our congress, the senate, and house of representatives. all you incumbents need a 20% pay cut and need to be exposed to term limits. we need to weed out professional politicians, a.k.a. lawyers, and we need to get rid of you. you are traders. you talk about social security and medicare -- you are traitors. you have not mentioned one word about closing military stations around the world for our american empire that none of us have voted for. how about some cuts in that direction instead of entitlements for the safety net for people who cannot protect themselves? you guys should be ashamed for yourself. i will never vote for an incumbent again.
guest: i am not one of the republicans who says we cannot touch our military budget. we have to cut in a number of ways, looking at bases overseas and in the u.s. as well. i hope the killing of osama bin laden helps us reevaluate our role in afghanistan. we have to look into the future and say does our heavy footprint, 100,000 u.s. troops, about $2 billion a week, is that justified by the threat? you could argue that yemen is just as important as afghanistan right now in terms of fighting the war against terrorism. our manpower and spending does not reflect that reality. i hope that we do reevaluate.
you cannot take defense off the table. host: what did you think about the concerns over term limits? guest: there are a lot of people, you look around in congress, and you think people have worn out their welcome. you see people who have stayed four years. -- stayed for year. i think that is best left in hands of the voters. the voters have the ability to change the makeup in congress. host: let's hear from linda at in massachusetts. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you? i would like to say that i thank you with all of my heart and soul. when i see you speak, i see a man speaking from the heart and soul and you do not care what it sounds like to other people.
you say what you really believe. we have people in dangerous countries, but there are safe zones in those countries. if we could -- these guys are away for a long time. if their families could go with them and their children and could go to schools where it is safe -- let's and drink tea together. even the people who are fighting with one another, that different tribes so to speak, let them drink tea to get there. they sympathized. they sat and they drank tea to get there. and that is their culture. another thing is how dear the government take my money? i need help here. we give medicine to people who have aids over in africa.
do you think maybe we would have more doctors in the united states of america? guest: she makes a great point about travel and americans being ambassadors of the country. that is one area i have worked on with regard to cuba, for example. the trade policy we have had for years is to not allow americans to travel to cuba. i worked to lift that travel ban for 10 years now. it would do the cuban people a lot of good for more americans to be there. i take that point she makes about having americans elsewhere in the world. the coast " there was some commentary on twitter about your statement that the u.s. has a high corporate tax rate. there is a recent story that analyzes it, that says --
that is the effective tax rate. the world bank has assembled data, saying the u.s. rate is lower than the published rate at 27.6%. only japan, new zealand, and thailand imposed a higher effective rate according to the study. guest: that is exactly the point we are trying to make. we have such a high corporate tax rate. they hire lobbyists or tax lawyers or others to find a way to pay less. it distorts the flow of capital in ways that are political rather than economic. host: newt gingrich expected to announce a run for the white house.
guest: a lot of people will be climbing in. i do not think this is the end of people getting in it. host: congressmean jeff flake, thank you for being with us this morning. first, a news update from c-span radio. >> the congress to prepare reports that u.s. companies sold a record amount of goods and services overseas in march, but a big jump in oil exports pushed the trade deficit up 6% to nearly $173 billion, the largest on record dating back to 1996. the white house has just announced the president plans to meet the nato secretary general on friday. the two are expected to discuss the nato mission in afghanistan.
nato wants to had responsibility over to afghan forces by the year 2014. california democrat congressman says he will be offering an amendment to accelerate the withdrawal of u.s. forces from of can stand by 90% by the end of 2013, just one of the issues expected to be debated. you can hear this markup session live on c-span radio in 45 minutes. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> this june, the balance between security and liberty, the difficulties of a climate change treaty, and the limits of international law. eric posner. he will take your calls, e- mails, and tweets. >> now available, c-span's
congressional directory. inside -- new and returning house and senate members with contact information. and information on the white house, supreme court justices, and governors. order online at c-span.org/shop. >> "washington journal" continues. host: matthew levitt is our guest. w was the former deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis. thanks for being here. we wanted you to talk to us about terrorist funding and what the u.s. does to try to intercept and that money. where does osama bin laden get the money that kept him living relatively comfortable in pakistan? guest: that is the $64,000
question, maybe more, and excuse the pun. the information seized iare those links. names, bank accounts, names of couriers, this type of thing. it goes to boston the myth that terrorism is expensive. the cost of maintaining safe houses and bribing people, which osama bin laden's people had to do, paying for groceries, the family salary, that can be a lot of money. how do we do this? we do two things. we try to stem the flow of funds. we make it more difficult for them to transfer and blonder and access that money, because the bottom line is you will never drain the swamp.
there are always ways to make money legally or illegally. sometimes, we will let those funds ago and we will watch them. financial intelligence is extremely impossible. if you watch monday move up the pipeline, -- people do not sit in pretty little boxes so you can understand with a r. it is about relationships. it is really important for us to follow their travel and money. you can catch me on the phone saying something, and i can be misleading you or i will be wrong. transfers in the banking system happen or they do not. host: the death of osama bin laden -- what is the sense and that the ramifications will have
with al-qaeda? guest: i think there has to be a real chill out there for anyone who has done anything for the al-qaeda. if you are a donor, i think you are pretty concerned right now. it might lead to someone who might lead to you. i think that will have a chill on all of their activities. osama bin laden's deputy is a more divisive figure. many of the regional franchises of the al-qaeda in the peninsula, yemen, and in north africa, they have their own funding mechanisms. maybe they do not need it so much more if they can raise their own donors. it is going to be really interesting how this plays out. host: a column in "in new york
times" to date -- guest: it is not just the saudis. in the gulf, major donors in the kuwait, major donors in cutter. a senior official in charge of following the money stated again that the al-qaeda core and some of the franchises today get most of their money from the gulf. that is something we are going to be looking at closely without a doubt. host: he mentioned that money can be used to track. how important is money when we are talking about terrorist
plots and activities? "usa today" recently reported that the times square bomb plot may have cost only $7,000. he really did not need that much money to make his attempt. guest: the al-qaeda core would give a little bit of money. they paid for a lot of different attacks. after 9/11, most of these attacks have been self-funded even if they had some type of connection back to the al-qaeda core in pakistan and afghanistan. with the exception to a few attacks, most of these local cells are finding themselves and their operations locally.
as i said, it is true, in the given attack is relatively inexpensive. if you cannot access the money that you need, you will not be able to carry out your attacks. they have the money at point 'a', but they could not access they could 'b', so not carry out the attack. there are multiple levels of success. if you can make it more difficult for them to raise money, make it take longer, seized some of their money, follow some of the money and disrupt their activities, they're all lots of ways of measuring impact on their ability to carry out logistics' by falling money and stemming the flow of funds. host: these numbers come to us
from the washington institute, the 9/11 commission. our guest works as a counter- terrorism and intelligence director at the washington institute. let's go to baltimore, md., where clifton joins us. caller: i do not understand how you guys are funding pakistan and giving them money, $700 billion. how can you all give these people money on a yearly basis, and then you turn around and you find osama bin laden over there. they do not cooperate with the government to capture this guy. we give all this money to them
did you are going to cut funding over here in our country. you have to think of home first before you take care of people around the world. guest: an excellent question. we have invested a tremendous amount of money in pakistan, and what has it bought us? i think, in fact, it has bought us a lot. there are many al-qaeda operatives to catch in pakistan. we are having a very serious reality check with pakistan right now. i think the biggest questions are, one, was the intelligence agency doing enough to find him? is it possible that he was living in this city that was basically a military town in front of everybody in a very large compound with barbed wire on top and no one thought to knock on the door?
the other part of the problem is drilling down to the persistent reports that there were basically two basic pakistan intelligence forces. part of it is very close to radical islamic jihadists. people are on trial in chicago right now. pakistani intelligence officer. host: what did you actually do? guest: i was the former deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis.
the office of intelligence and analysis have treasury -- at treasure reef is part of the u.s. intelligence community. we follow money. sometimes we freeze it and sometimes to figure out who is connected to who. we work closely with law enforcement and had tremendous success. i left in 2007. they have continued to build this capability. they do in a lot of proliferation of finance. the focus on terrorist finance continues and has just been an incredibly powerful. and they deserve a tremendous amount of credit. host: let's go down to florida on our republican line.
good morning. caller: could some of the mosques in the united states be backing some of this in pakistan? guest: after 9/11, we had a lot of law enforcement activity focused on financial and other logistical support activities here in the united states, and there were such activities. funding hamas, hezbollah, and the al-qaeda. several were prosecuted by the department of justice. that type of activity likely continues to balk at a much, much, much smaller level -- that level of activity likely continues but at a much, much, much smaller level. i do not think osama bin laden needed support from the united
states to stay there if he had some of the intelligence community looking the other way. if you major donors is all you need. several years ago, the treasury department designated a saudi individual. he was described as a million- dollar man for his success in raising money for al-qaeda. he host: you code-authored a policy-focused piece, "the money trail." how do you actually freeze terrorists finances? are there any legal hurdles to stopping that money? "it is my money." guest: it is a very important
question. there are very clear legal hurdles that have to be achieved bureaucratically within the treasury department, the state department, and the department of justice, and there are three rounds of review. there is a substantive review of the information. there will be a policy discussion. is this the right action? we might want to take a lot enforcement action or do an intelligence function. there are a lot of different tools in the toolkit. this is just one because it is the public one. there are others that are not in the public domain. after we have a policy discussion to decide if this is
the right action, then there will be a legal review. the legal review will have two sides. one will be reviewed by lawyers and the department of treasury. based on the executive order signed by the president, does the information hit that threshold question mark very often, it is no it does not. in the event that we are sued and individuals can get off of these lists to have the money released, do you think we will be able to prevail? it is usually 115% to make sure it is not only enough but if they are sued, it will prevail. host: chris is on our independent line. hi. caller: thank you for taking my
call. i just wanted to say a couple of things. i think that the american intelligence community is definitely doing a great job. what is the american public needs to realize is this is not something that started with iraq. it has been going on for decades. we have to remember that there has been a lot of american hatred taught in middle eastern schools. so, you know, it is a very touchy issue. also, about pulling out of afghanistan and iraq and everything -- i think we are moving in the right direction with leaving special op groups in there. we obviously cannot pull out right away. i think we are moving in the right direction. it is going to take time. it may never be over. i think we are moving in the
right direction. the american people i think need to be happy that we have this stuff in place. guest: chris, i agree. i think we are moving in the right direction. mistakes have been made it. the special forces and deserve a tremendous amount of credit. there are people putting their lives at risk every day. it is not just anti-americanism. is this idea that if you are not a muslim like me, it is okay to kill you. the idea allegedly -- ideologically idea of if you are not a muslim like hell i am a muslim, you are basically an infidel. this idea of tolerance is
something that we need to deal with. our counter-terrorism strategies need to include the tactical things that we associate with terrorism, capturing or killing osama bin laden, following the money, taking down doors, and following conversations, but it has to also be more strategic. we need to counter a violent extremism so people are no longer wanting to do this type of thing. fbi and homeland security officials after the killing of osama bin laden warned in some ways the greatest threat here at home is not so much from the organized terrorist groups trying to plot a tax for or the united states and abroad, but also by homegrown of violent extremists. people who are going to see on the news that we killed osama bin laden and are very angry
about it. that is something that is going to be defeated not only through strategic terrorism like following the money, but countering -- host: he served in the treasury apartment as did deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis back into the 522008 and also served in the state department. matthew levitt, in your paper, "the money trail," you talk about the difference between a sophisticated means of transfer. we are talking about banks, overseas wire transfers, and those things, but also less sophisticated means of transferring money going through
brokers. how do you monitor that type of activity? guest: it is very significant and it can be harder to follow. several years ago, exposed to the government had a program with all kinds of protections to make sure that they could not watch how much money you and i were taking out of atm's. that had to be a very concrete and approved a connection to terrorism. it does mean that once our adversaries to hear about that, they are going to move their eggs to other baskets. host: brokers? guest: individual brokers that will make money available to people. that is how the times square plot was funded. we were able to track that down fairly quickly and hold those people who provided those funds
accountable. it means you have to use human sources. we need to be following this very closely. our greatest example is from hezbollah. the treasury department took action against a lebanese bank and some lebanese drug dealers who were moving drugs from south america. one of the ways that they were getting the money back to 11 on west through trade laundering. they sent that money to used car dealers in the united states, purchased their cars, and had them shipped to africa. they sold the cars and africa and took the money and send it back to lebanon on. if you moved it through something other than bills, in this case automobiles. host: judy is a republican. hi, judy.
caller: my question is to ask why do we continue to fund -- oh. host: keep going. it's like you have some honking geese in the back. caller: i want to find out why we fund domestic terrorist groups and what we are going to allow them to change things in their schools to teach more of what they wanted. guest: one of the things that we need to do is have a serious discussion about values and ideas and what should be taught in schools and what should not. i think we have to make a distinction between the groups that we disagree with and groups that are terrorists. there are domestic terrorist groups.
timothy mcveigh is a domestic terrorist. thankfully, a those are few and far between. host: she mentioned the largest national latino civil rights and advocacy group in the united states. the witnesses they work to improve opportunities for hispanic americans. -- their website says they work to improve opportunities for hispanic americans. when we think of terrorism, we do not conjure up the idea of timothy mcveigh. it was a homegrown american who carried out the oklahoma city attack. how do you follow that trail and how do you look into those homegrown organizations?
guest: a lot of the same tools. if there is a predicate to follow certain individual, individuals who are looking to do us harm -- by the way, al- qaeda and other groups recognize and have been for years now have been looking to recruit more people who have american passport, european passports, people who do not look like what a typical terrorist would look like, meaning caucasians, etc. one of these issues is the fact that some of the most dangerous radical weiser's out there today -- radicalizers out there today are americans. caller: thank you for taking my call. could you assess the danger -- going back to pakistan, a group
that can operate fairly openly and as a widespread finding apparatus. also, wherever traditional tools -- and they have been designated by treasury. they can continue to operate fairly openly. how should the u.s. and the international community respond to this? guest: this is a group that was designated as a terrorist group from the united nations. after they were designated, they basically moved all their activities to their social welfare organization, and now they do all their activity under jud. in pakistan, the government has refused to crack down on this group.
it is very popular and engages in a lot of social welfare activity. it is one that we absolutely must pressed them to work on. this is one of the most dangerous terrorist groups out there today. they have expanded beyond targeting india and kashmir. as i mentioned earlier, there is a trial going on in chicago rendell of individuals accused of playing roles supporting that terrorist attack in mumbai, including an individual with the pakistan the intelligence service. the connection is one of the most troubled and interesting is that we have to deal with. in a relatively short time, words like "al-qaeda" will not be a part of our vocabulary. "terrorism" will be. designating these groups is
going to be a lot but it is not going to take us as far as we need to go. a lot more has to be done with pakistan. host: how much help or assistance does the american effort needed from a government like pakistan or the afghanistan government when you are talking about freezing access? guest: we can designate these groups without their okay but their money will not be frozen back home. pakistan should be freezing the groups' money because those entities are designated by the united nations. there is an element of not only ability but willingness as well. host: in cincinnati, ohio, michael joins us on the independent line.
caller: thank you for taking my call. i want to reflect on something that happened with the egyptian revolution. it was reported widely in the media that the amount of money send to pakistan from the u.s. -- it was going directly to the military. you could see that the military stood down against mubarak's revolution in egypt. how on earth could osama bin laden's compound be so close? it is $2 billion a year that we are giving them. we could put a state wherever we want when we pay people that type of money. first of all, it was a million- dollar compound with the images that i saw. it looked like a dump.
the whole idea that all of these things are happening and we cannot figure out who is doing it -- the pivotal point goes back to 9/11 and what happened then. the achilles heel of the whole 9/11 was building seven coming down and it was not hit by an airplane. who really is doing all this? guest: i think the 9/11 question has been asked and answered, and i do believe they were taken down by airplanes by al-qaeda. they did a phenomenal job on that in the investigation. it is an interesting point the caller makes about the fact that the money we have invested in egypt over the years has made in
some ways more concrete evidence that we concede and send the money that we have invested in pakistan. the military during the revolution did the right thing. i think it has to do with the fact that we had very strong military to military connections with the egyptian military officers and pakistan. the society there is so radical and there is such political consequences for moving far beyond society that is difficult to lead onstan thesis these issues. it needs to be clear that the threats of that are the greatest threats to the united states and pakistan are emanating from within pakistan. this is not something they are doing as a favor to us.
it is something that is immediately in their best interest. our adversaries are largely based there. we need their help. there is only so much we can do it unilaterally. if we do not have the cooperation we need, when push comes to shove, which will protect american lives. host: let's go to cleveland where leonard joins us, a democratic collar. hello, leonard. good morning. welcome. caller: hi. i have a couple of questions boy. the american government, when people are killing manatees, and we seize their money like in iraq and then with osama bin laden, where do those moneys go
back into our federal government that the seas and control? i would hope that they took it like they took it from an american citizen who did wrong and they seized their money and it goes back in. the second question is i think the federal government with osama bin laden -- he did things where he heard two men that the killing of these people -- he heard all of these people -- he hurt all of these people. i think the president should ever try to capture him -- host: we will leave it there. guest: what happens to the money. without boring you, there is a difference between seizing money and for fitting money. -- and forfeitting money.
the most important thing is not where it goes, but rather that our adversaries are denied access to it. they are worried and have to take extra steps to move their money and access their money because they are afraid that we might get our hands on it. host: matthew levitt is a senior fellow on counter-terrorism and intelligence and also lectures at johns hopkins university. he is a member of a couple of different organizations including the international advisory board for counter- terrorism in israel. he also served in the treasury department.
let's go to florida, john is a republican. welcome. caller: hello. my heritage comes from bethlehem, and we are catholic. from time to time, there have been requests from the news or the newspaper -- can you hear me? -- children, women, and hospitals, things like that. if i were to make a donation -- i have always been worried that my name would pop up. how do i know that i am sponsoring a terrorist organization or is it really going to hospitals? it is just a concern that i have always had. i would refrain from making the nation because of that fear. guest: that is a shame because
charitable giving is an american value and one that is across every religion. whether it is in the west bank or elsewhere, there is a need to, unfortunately, because it terrorists have been so proactive. it is not enough to check the treasury to see if that particular charity is asking for donations on at their list. there are ways even to the internet of doing your best due diligence, and there are great groups that do a lot of good work trying to help americans in that particular context who want to give money to people who really do need it in the palestinian areas in a way that does not go to terrorism. you are right. there is a real need to make sure that we are careful. we should be careful, and we
should give. that is important for us as americans. i applaud your desire to give, and i appreciate your concern, but you should give. in general, the government is not interested in someone who gives $20 or $100. one charity in texas was found guilty in a contributing to hamas. this organization claimed to just be helping palestinians. people who were knowingly giving to this group because they knew it was a part of hamas, that is another story. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. it seems to me that we seem to be backing the wrong people weather in the middle east or elsewhere -- the wrong
people in the middle east or elsewhere. could you comment on the middle east, both people in and out of government, that have a deep knowledge of the culture of the middle east and the rest of the subcontinent in describing the past that you took to develop your own expertise. guest: i am sure my mother is watching and she would love to hear about that. you cannot make decisions about these issues, absinthe understanding of the region. it is really important for us to develop expertise. andt a master's, a ph.d., security studies in negotiation. i was fortunate enough to land fellowships' and jobs that give me a practical expertise in working with the fbi and the
treasury department. i tremendous benefit later in a year from students in my teachings. as an academic now, i am amazed at how many people write articles and appear on shows with very little expertise and spend very little time in the region. i try and spend a decent amount of time in the region, meeting with people here and in europe and in the middle east, of course, to keep up my expertise. i have found in my experience in the government that the government is really trying hard to build a diverse expertise within the intelligence community, people with skills and languages. we are a melting pot. we have first, second, and third generations of americans who have, by birth, a tremendous
cultural skills and language skills. host: let's go to chicago, ill., nikki, a republican. caller: i was just wondering what they are going to do with that frozen funding. is that something that is going to come to the u.s.? is it going to stay frozen forever? guest: if it is money that is in the u.s. financial system, we can freeze it and in some cases it is held or given to government. in some cases, victims of terrorism who have sued in federal court can lien on those seized funds. when we are talking about terrorist groups, they do not have a whole lot of money. the treasury work over a three- day weekend and seized a $30
billion, over $30 billion, in libyan assets that the muammar gaddafi regime can no longer used. that is an exception. often, al-qaeda and those types do not have their money invested here in the united states, which is why it is so important for these designations to occur in the united nations as well. then, each of those countries will have their own laws on how to deal with those funds. caller: i have a question. you said you worked during the bush administration, right? ever since nixon, executive power has been more concentrated to one person. now you have been working with
the industrial complex and you are able to track people all over the world and supposedly be able to find it terrorists in other countries and work with other governments, but you are also saying this is not a double edged sword because this technology that we are using here can be used against the american people. guest: i assume he is a red sox fan. john, do not make the assumption that just because we have technology that other people do. do not make the assumption that because we use these tools, we use them randomly. there are tremendous protections in place because we respect the rule of law. i am actually very, very happy with the way that the united